The Mitchells vs the Machines – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film The Mitchells vs the Machines.

Story

Most road trip movies rely on the ignorance or poor decision making of the characters. That lends to a sort of cringe comedy that I loved as a kid but can’t stand anymore. This movie turned that trope on its head. Instead the characters are lost in their own worldview and have trouble seeing each other.

The entire movie hinges on the family being a little strange, very lucky, and learning to work together. The plot is mildly predictable, surreal, and so much fun anyway.

Score: 1

Characters

For a movie that gives up grounded mid-way, its characters are infinitely relatable. I felt for each of the Mitchells.

The secondary characters are mild caricatures, but serve a good purpose.

I liked that they adopted the two robots into their family. It’s a nice message that genetics don’t make a family and found family is just as powerful.

The subtle inclusion of a gay main character was refreshing, as was the lack of forced romance.

Score: 1

Dialogue

This movie has so many references to memes and internet culture that it’s impressive. I think that the references will age quickly and probably not well.

The humour is surprisingly clever and the dialogue sometimes much deeper than expected.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The animation was done in a style similar to Into the Spiderverse, but with more colourful “internet” things. There were a few times I wanted to pause and just look at all the details and backgrounds. It was stunningly beautiful.

The music was nice and the songs were perfectly chosen. I got a little frustrated with the electronic riff that felt plucked from the Stranger Things intro, but that’s minor.

Score: 1

Fun

The type of movie made it clear that the awkward family drama would have an awesome payoff and it did. This meant that I didn’t spend much time cringing and really enjoyed the ride. The kids were glued to the screen and we all laughed a lot. The giant Furby terrified my 22 month old.

Score: 1

Overall

A good old fashioned road trip and apocalypse movie that ditches the frustrating parts of both. The animation is spectacular and characters relatable. Proper Queer representation and a nod to found family add extra depth to an action-packed and laugh out loud film.

Final Score: 5* Stars out of 5


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

I like to play games

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I love games. I love board games, table top games, card games, and video games.

I had never bought myself a video game console. I have an amazing brother who’s bought me a PS3 and PS4 and a lifetime ago we got a free Nintendo Wii with a computer purchase. (Before that, I used my mom’s systems.)

Dragon on her giant Yoshi. (I’m mildly sad she’s stopped calling it sushi.)

Well, last week there was a sale we couldn’t resist and we bought a Nintendo Switch. I worry that it’s about to be replaced, but hopefully there’s a few more good years in them.

Of late, Pegasus has been obsessed with watching me play Mario Kart on my phone. (He’ll climb on my lap and say, “race” although it sounds like “wash”) Dragon has been doing well with Disney Infinity, but I feel she needs games that are a little simpler.

With that in mind, we got Mario Kart 8 deluxe, Switch Fit, Lego Avengers 2, and Just Dance. I’m planning on getting Yoshi’s Crafted World for the kids. I’d also love to get Link’s Awakening and maybe one of the Mario games.

For someone who’s really busy, having something that I don’t have to spend an hour re-learning the controls or several hours doing side quests will be a nice change (Looking at you, Spiderman). To be honest, I’ve missed Nintendo.

So any recommendations for games? Both for a 4 year old with little gaming experience and a 37 year old who loves games, but isn’t very good at them?

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Week 34 – Matilda

You might think this an odd choice for a “mother” movie, but I wanted to show an adoptive mother.

Here is the link for the downloadable materials. (Please let me know if you have any problems so I can fix it!)

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
Watch movieWrite a bookput book togetherlearn about telekinesisFlex

Summary of the week

Daily details:

Dance

Ballet and martial arts on alternate days

Music

Singing, listening to different pieces, learning piano

Crochet

The project she is working on (currently she is making herself a poncho)

Basic Information

We talk about the days of the week and play games with the cutouts of the names. We do the same thing with the names of the months of the year. You can find the print-outs here.

Printing words

In download materials

Counting objects/math-type activities

Practice counting objects and writing how many of each type – in download materials

Addition and pattern – worksheet in download materials

Storytime

Activity

Write a book
Put book together
Learn about telekinesis – link to reference

Next week – Mulan

Week 32 – The Odd Life of Timothy Green Results

Virtual school went well this week. Dragon answered some questions about the days of the week and the months of the year and seasons.

She wrote words starting with the letter “W”. She says she likes that letter.

She had lots of fun dancing along with the music in class.

Math was learning how to read a pictogram. Dragon enjoyed that.

They were split into small groups to “play” after that, and Dragon’s group played music, at her suggestion.

Homeschool went well this week.

Dance

She did ballet 2 times this week.

Music

Piano: she practiced her finger exercises every day this week. No lesson.

We have a French playlist that I can play through the Google mini, with a variety of artists.

Crochet

We did not do any crochet this week.

Basic Information

We are working on yesterday (hier) and tomorrow (demain) around any given day. The months of the year is going well. We’re working on the month before and after any given month. That’s coming slowly.

The saisons de l’année are all memorized. We’re working on how each of them feel and the types of things we can do during each of them.

When I ask her “combien” for any of the above, she responds in complete sentences.

Printing words

Printing went very well this week.

Counting objects/math-type activities

She had no problems with the counting worksheet. We counted by 10s to 100 and counted up to 100 a couple times.

Math was easy for her this week. We also talked about counting by fives and how to draw it out.

Storytime

We read stories from the teacher’s outline that was sent to us on Monday. She enjoyed that, and we will continue to do it next week.

We watched Raiponce in French on Disney Plus, one episode a day. Dragon is enjoying it immensely, and is even recognizing some words!

Activity

Build a house mood board – Despite getting distracted by the toys, she did very well at picking out things that she liked that she would put in her house.

Plant beans – She pre-planted beans and zucchini for our garden. She enjoyed it.

Write personality characteristics – Apparently we did this in Soul, so instead, we did an online Personality test. I was curious to see how she did (very good at answering the questions…no hesitation).

Dear Pegasus – First Puke Night

Dear Pegasus,

Last night you woke up and puked large un-chewed chunks of zucchini and little tiny seafood. It wasn’t fun for anyone. (Dragon didn’t wake up, so not bad for her.)

Two baths, three sheets, four pyjamas, and lots of sad looks later, you fell asleep.

You were so afraid of lying down that you insisted on sitting up in my lap. Every time you nodded off, you had this look of worry on your face.

At one point, close to 3:20, you settled into my arm, looked up at me, sighed deeply, and said, “Papa.” It was so soft and sad. You settled into sleep not long after and you insisted on being held while you slept.

A hard night and lots of worry, but you’re fine now and it’s hopefully not going to be a new trend.

I hate not being able to do anything to make it better, but hopefully holding you helped make you feel more comfortable falling asleep. You seem okay now and are happily playing.

Not looking forward to tonight. Hopefully you won’t associate puking with sleep. I also hope this isn’t a new habit.

Love you!

Papa

Captain America: The First Avenger – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2011 film Captain America: The First Avenger.

Story

The story is extremely simple and a perfect transition from the simpler superhero movies of the 2000’s to the more complex ones after.

It’s amazing that they managed to have a movie set in WWII that had only 3 Nazis.

The villain is scary smart if over-the-top and the story is wonderfully soothing.

As much as I love the romance between Cap and Carter, the convoluted obstacles are tiresome and unnecessary.

I would also would have liked more nuances on the concept of patriotism, but that would come with the future movies.

Score: 0.5

Characters

This movie was extremely well cast and all the actors play their roles wonderfully. Again I think Red Skull was a little much, but all the others are fantastic.

Score: 1

Dialogue

This movie, more than Iron-Man or Avengers, sets the bar for Marvel dialogue. It’s clever, quotable, and has fantastic depth.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie’s special effects still look amazing a decade later and visually this movie is a treat.

The music is fantastic and works perfectly for the movie.

Score: 1

Fun

Our Blu-ray has a bug where the dynamic range (loudest vs softest sounds) is huge, making me spend most of the movie changing the volume or not being able to understand the words. This is actually pretty common for Marvel movies and really pisses me off.

That being said, the movie kept the attention of the entire family and made me want to re-watch all the Marvel movies.

Score: 1

Overall

The unambiguity of the movie is its strength, bolstered by its fantastic dialogue and acting. It was the last before Avengers changed the landscape and set the bar for storytelling. It is by far the best Marvel Phase 1 film (Arguably Phase 2 also).

Final Score: 4.5

Books, stories, edits, and Emus

Hello Readers,

I’m working on a lot of thinks right now.

  • Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers is being beta-read and sensitivity edited currently.
  • Stories between the ‘Verses is being edited by me and should be going to typesetting soon, to be published by Renaissance Press in the Fall.
  • I’m working on two different projects for clients. Both fantastic authors. I’ll share here when they’re available.
  • Stories! Unexpected Collection 1 (Working title) is shockingly at 15 stories and 3 novellas.
  • Mystery of the Dancing Lights (Elizabeth 4) is at just over 37000 and halfway through the story.
  • The Copper Tarnish (Formerly Paragenesis) has been edited and is at 32000 words which means that it’s 60% done.

I hope you’re having good productive weeks. I’m still not feeling great, but it’s getting better. I should probably get back to some of those now.

Two of my current projects involve sentient alien Emus so here’s a smiling Emu.

Photo From flicker showing an emu that seems to be smiling.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Week 33 – Brave

When I think about mothers in movies, Queen Eleanor is the first person who springs to mind. I love this movie and haven’t seen it in quite a while, and look forward to sharing it with Dragon. Hopefully she’ll neve turn me into a bear.

Here is the link for the downloadable materials. (Please let me know if you have any problems so I can fix it!)

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
Watch movieelements of a fairy talebake Spell Cakelearn about bearsFlex

Summary of the week

Daily details:

Dance

Ballet and martial arts on alternate days

Music

Singing, listening to different pieces, learning piano

Crochet

The project she is working on (currently she is making herself a poncho)

Basic Information

We talk about the days of the week and play games with the cutouts of the names. We do the same thing with the names of the months of the year. You can find the print-outs here.

Printing words

In download materials

Counting objects/math-type activities

Practice counting objects and writing how many of each type – in download materials

Addition and pattern – worksheet in download materials

Storytime

Activity

Elements of a Fairy Tale – sheet found in download materials
Bake Spell Cake – link to recipes
Learn about bears – link to references, link to video

Next week – Matilda